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The Formations After losing 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy in Carson, California, last weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson chose a different tactical formation for the rematch at BC Place. Custom Portland Trail Blazers Jerseys . The Whitecaps lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield, with two changes from the previous match; Matias Laba returned from suspension and Kenny Miller started the match, replacing Kekuta Manneh and Sebastian Fernandez in the starting XI. The Galaxy lined up with the same lineup and formation that took the pitch the previous week, matching Vancouvers 4-4-2 midfield diamond. The Game The Galaxy have for many years been the standard by which every team in MLS is judged. They are well organized, tactically disciplined and, in Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, have two of the most dynamic attacking players in the league. Bruce Arena is arguably the best coach in MLS and he showed his pedigree with his game plan against Vancouver. The Galaxy encouraged the Whitecaps to have the ball at the back, and as soon as either of Vancouvers central defenders - Jay DeMerit of Andy OBrien - had the ball, LA applied immediate pressure. This disrupted the Whitecaps, as they werent able to effectively move the ball out of the back. When the Galaxy were in possession, both Keane and Donovan dropped into midfield when the opportunity arose. This encouraged Baggio Husidic, Stefan Ishizaki and Marcelo Sarvas to make penetrating runs from midfield, which caused Vancouver problems defensively. Far too often, Russell Teibert and Gershon Koffie were narrow defensively, leaving too much space for the Galaxy to exploit in wide areas. This was the case when the Galaxy opened the scoring in the first half. Matias Laba vacated his central position to put pressure on Galaxy fullback, Dan Gargan, who had acres of space on the right flank to deliver a cross to the back post. Labas enthusiasm meant the Whitecaps had no midfield presence in the penalty area to deal with Ishizaki or Donovan, who had drifted into midfield. The lack of midfield defensive cover meant that the Whitecaps were outnumbered in their own penalty area when the ball was delivered. Defensively, the back four were culpable for not dealing with the cross from Gargan, as well as for not marking effectively in the penalty area. When Husidic headed the ball back across goal, every Whitecaps defender got caught ball watching, with Ishizaki lurking near the penalty spot. Given that Laba was out of position on the left - and no other midfielder slid in to cover his defensive responsibilities, Ishizaki was left with a free header from six yards out to open the scoring. Worryingly for Vancouver, Donovan was also in a prime scoring position, completely unmarked. A series of defensive mistakes that individually, might not prove costly. But collectively, these mistakes lead to goals being conceded. At the halftime break, Robinson made a bold move - which proved to be the correct one - by making two substitutions. Jonny Leveron and Kekuta Manneh came into the match, replacing Andy OBrien and Russell Teibert. Leveron immediately improved Vancouvers ability to move the ball out of the back and into midfield, and Manneh provided an attacking threat that was missing in the first half. This threat was further amplified when Erik Hurtado replaced the largely ineffective Pedro Morales part way through the second half. Both Manneh and Hurtado stretched the Galaxy back line with their speed and direct play. It was Hurtados forward run that played a role in Darren Mattocks equalizer, and after Robbie Keane had put the Galaxy back in front, it was Manneh who drove home Vancouvers second tying goal. The Whitecaps deserve credit for building a squad of players rather than just focusing on improving their starting eleven. In every game this season, Vancouver have had options on the bench that could change the game, and Saturdays game was an example of how Robinson used those options effectively. There will be many fans calling for Manneh - who was Player of the Match in my eyes for his 45-minute performance - to get a run of games in the starting lineup now. But those fans need to be careful what they wish for. The biggest challenge that all young players face is finding a level of consistency from game to game. Manneh faces this same challenge, and despite his bright performance against the Galaxy (as well as a good performance as a substitute against Chivas USA in the second week of the season), I feel that Robinson is doing the right thing by keeping the reins on Manneh as a first team regular. It is far better to have a player succeed in the long-term, rather than to have him fizzle out because he was rushed into the first team. The Positives One of the criticisms levied against former head coach Martin Rennie was that he could be indecisive. Many felt that Rennie waited too long in games to make his substitutions, thus reducing the impact of the players he brought on to change the game. This criticism cannot be levied against Robinson. The first-year coach made a bold move taking off OBrien and Teibert at the half. Robinson also altered Vancouvers tactical approach during the second half, changing their 4-4-2 midfield diamond to a more conventional 4-4-2, with the central midfielders operating as double pivots. Both Manneh and Hurtado were bright spots for Vancouver in the second half, as was Leveron. Defenders get paid to prevent goals, but the Hondurans ability on the ball is what Robinson is looking for from his central defenders when the Whitecaps are in possession. Because of this, Leveron will be first choice for Robinson in that position in the long-term, and could very likely replace DeMerit or OBrien in Vancouvers starting lineup for their next match against Real Salt Lake (Saturday, April 26, 9:30pm ET, 6:30pm PT, TSN). The Negatives Defensively, there were all kinds of problems for the Whitecaps on both of the Galaxys goals. For starters, Vancouver was very narrow in midfield and never got to grips with the problems caused by the movement from Keane and Donovan. This gave the Galaxy the freedom of the flanks, which allowed for uncontested delivery into the penalty area on both goals. At the back, the partnership of Jay DeMerit and Andy OBrien is fraught with issues. Neither player is especially quick, but their experience should be enough to see them cope with this handicap. But as neither player has Leverons technical ability or passing range, the Whitecaps are hamstrung when it comes to playing the ball out of defence when they are paired together. This puts immense pressure on Vancouvers midfielders, as their opposite numbers know that if Vancouver are going to get the ball forward, it will have to come through midfield. The Star Man At just 19 years of age, it is tempting to think of what kind of player Kekuta Manneh is going to be when he matures. He is quick, skillful, direct and not afraid to shoot the ball - all qualities one looks for in an attacking player. Manneh made a dramatic impact for Vancouver when he was introduced at the start of the second half. He terrorized the Galaxy defenders, and it was fitting that it was his strike that brought the Whitecaps back on level terms. Terry Porter Jersey . Goodell said in an ESPN Radio interview Monday (http://es.pn/1gkbauy ) that participants played harder and made the game very competitive. Goodell says he had fun watching the game Sunday and thinks fans did, too. Noah Vonleh Jersey . The three goals bring Messis career tally for Barcelona to 371 in all games -- including friendlies -- breaking the club record of 369 held by Paulino Alcantara since 1927. The 26-year-old Messi was already the clubs all-time leading scorer in official games. Messi assured Barcelonas fans they will enjoy his goals for years to come, saying "as long as people want me, I will stay here. http://www.blazersteamofficial.com/Zach-Collins-Blazers-Jersey/ . Cleveland has won the first two of this set and has won six straight games since losing back-to-back tilts to open the year. Seattle, on the other hand, has now lost six in a row following consecutive wins to kick off its campaign. LOS ANGELES -- Make no bones about it. Coach Mike DAntonis skeleton roster was no match for the opportunistic Charlotte Bobcats and Al Jeffersons dominating presence in the paint. Jefferson tied a career high with 40 points, 16 of them in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 18 rebounds to help the Bobcats send the floundering Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight defeat with a 110-100 victory Friday night. "I have those moments," Jefferson said. "They kept running plays for me and I kept scoring. In the first quarter, they werent going down for me, but I just kept staying with it because I knew sooner or later it would start going down for me. " Jefferson set a franchise record with his 11th straight game of 20 or more points, eclipsing the mark set by Jason Richardson in 2007-08. It was the 13th game this season in which an opposing player scored at least 30 against the Lakers, something that happened in 18 games last season -- and there are still 35 games remaining. Jefferson is averaging 19.9 points and 10.7 boards, but wasnt selected for the All-Star game and has yet to play in one in his 10 years in the league. "Ive been disappointed with the All-Star games, man, for many years. So I dont listen to the hype," Jefferson said. Gerald Henderson added 20 points for the Bobcats. Starting point guard Kemba Walker missed his sixth straight game since a sprained left ankle ended his career-opening consecutive game streak of 190. Ramon Sessions, who has started every game at the point during Walkers absence, had 13 assists and nine points. Sessions, along with starting power forward Josh McRoberts and reserve guard Jannero Pargo -- all former Lakers -- combined for 26 points and the Bobcats snapped a string of five straight defeats against Los Angeles. Charlotte shot 52.3 per cent from the field, improving to 5-0 when shooting at least 50 per cent. The victory was the Bobcats ninth on the road, four more than all of last season. Still missing Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry because of injuries, the Lakers lost for the 18th time in 21 games and are only a half-ggame ahead of last-place Sacramento in the Western Conference standings just four seasons after winning their 16th NBA title. Caleb Swanigan Jersey. Pau Gasol had 24 points for Los Angeles and Nick Young added 21 off the bench. The Lakers have given up 100 or more points in 14 consecutive games, matching the clubs longest such streak since a 17-game stretch in 1986-87. Trailing by as many as 20 points after a pair of free throws by Jefferson with 4:21 left in the third quarter, the Lakers sliced the margin to 86-73 on a four-point play by Ryan Kelly. Los Angeles got it down to 86-78 on a layup by Robert Sacre with 11:01 to play, but that was as close as the Lakers got. Jefferson scored the Bobcats first eight points of the final quarter to help keep the Lakers at bay. "Hes been doing this to a lot of people," DAntoni said. "We tried a little bit of everything. We dug. We tried to play him a little bit straight up, at first. We tried to double-team him." Jefferson, who signed a three-year, $41 million contract with the Bobcats in July, powered them to a 62-49 halftime lead with 18 points and eight rebounds. Charlotte shot 58 per cent in the half, and never trailed after Jeffersons finger roll gave the Bobcats a 26-25 lead with 1:37 left in the first quarter. In the other meeting this season, the Lakers beat the Bobcats 88-85 at Charlotte with a game-ending 13-4 run and 21 points by Kobe Bryant -- one of only six games the NBAs fourth leading scorer has played in this season because of a torn Achilles tendon and a fracture in his left knee. Jefferson was held to 14 points that night. NOTES: The game ball was being sent to New York to mark the final day of NBA Commissioner David Sterns tenure. He is retiring Saturday on the 30th anniversary of his first day on the job. ... Stern saw the Lakers win eight league championships, make 12 trips to the finals and record eight 60-win seasons during his reign. ... Stern presented the Lakers with their championship rings on seven occasions. The only exception was in October 2001, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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